14 Sep 2021, 12:53

PM's housing gift gives new life to homeless people in Rajshahi

   By Dr Aynal Haque

   RAJSHAHI, Sept 14, 2021 (BSS) - The poor landless and homeless people have
got new lives after getting houses as gifts from Prime Minister Sheikh

   Ripa Khatun, 32, a divorcee, is living with her five-year-old daughter at
Tantihati Ashrayan under Tanore Upazila of the district.

   After getting the semi-pucca newly constructed house she's happy. She now
earns her livelihood by sewing clothes and rearing goats.

  "Now I have sound sleep at night, there is no major hurdle and none can
oppress and suppress me like before," Khatun said, while talking to BSS with
a smiling face. "It's like a dream to me," she added.

   Abul Kalam Azad, a resident of Bordapur Ashrayan Pally in Manda Upazila,
said he had to suffer a lot due to lack of a house. But, the situation has
changed now. He along with his wife and two daughters are passing wonderful
days in the new house.

  Azad, a person with special needs, said the house gave his four-member
family a new life; he expressed his deep gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina for her benevolent initiative.

   Rubel Hossain, one of the beneficiaries of Palibazar Ashrayan Project in
Durgapur Upazila, said he used to live in a thatched house before getting the
new one.

  He has been living in the semi-concrete house for the last couple of months

  The house comprises a bedroom, a kitchen with veranda, toilet and a
constant power supply. Shima Bibi, a widow of Jhaluka village under the same
upazila, is living in the new house with two offspring.

  "I never thought that I would be an owner of a brick-built house," she said
with a smiling face. Many other landless and homeless people have got
permanent abode as they availed the housing gift of Prime Minister in the
division like other parts of the country.

   On behalf of Ashrayan Project-2 of the Prime Minister's Office, the
Department of Disaster Management (DDM) has built the houses.

  The main thrust of the initiative is to improve the standard of living,
ensure basic education, health care and skill development on income
generating activities of the poor people.

  Additional Commissioner of Rajshahi division Dr Abdul Mannan told BSS that
a total of 14,291 newly constructed houses were handed over to homeless and
landless families in two consecutive phases this year as a gift from Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina in the Mujib Year.

   The homeless and landless families received the disaster resilient houses
marking the Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in all eight districts of the division.

  At the initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government has
provided them with the houses to alleviate their poverty through giving
shelters and human resource development activities.

   Aminul Haque, District Relief and Rehabilitation Officer, said each of the
semi-pucca houses built at a cost of Taka 1.91 lakh consists of two bedrooms,
one kitchen, one toilet, common space and veranda.

   The floors and walls of the houses are brick-built as the roofs were made
of corrugated sheet, he said.

  Haque added that the houses were made colorful and eye-catching. The
disaster resistant houses reveal the images of laudable and lasting
development activities of the government, he continued.

   Divisional Commissioner Dr Humayun Kabir said the ashrayan project has
been adopted from the spirit of development thinking of Prime Minister Sheikh

   Diversified need-based activities, including income-generation,
employment, healthcare, sanitation, education and professional training, have
been added to the housing venture.

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